Roleystone Theatre update - FAQs

Roleystone Theatre update - FAQs

Why is the theatre closed?

Following a routine building maintenance inspection in February 2018, a number of structural issues were observed and it was deemed necessary to close the theatre to ensure the safety of the public. The City has since installed bracing to support the theatre’s fly tower and commissioned a structural report on the building. The report was presented to Council in August and concluded that significant structural rectification works are required in order for the building to be fit for any purpose. 

What is the history of the theatre?

In 1922 a timber framed public Hall of approximately 110 square metres was built on Brookton Highway with funds raised by the Roleystone Progress Association. The Hall was used for the district’s community, social and cultural events and in 1933 the Roleystone Choral and Dramatic Society was formed. What became known as the Old Roleystone Hall became the venue for the group’s many productions. In 1985 the group became incorporated and changed its name to the Roleystone Theatre.

Many additions and alterations have been made to the building with funds from the theatre group, external sources and from time to time from the City. Over the years works were undertaken either by the theatre group or the City. The building now has an overall footprint of around 520 square metres (over 4 times larger than the original hall) and now includes a stage and backstage facilities; a foyer entrance, bio box, fixed tiered seating, props room, make up and dressing rooms, public toilets and a fly tower.

The Old Roleystone Hall, now known as the Roleystone Theatre has hosted a many theatrical productions and other cultural and social activities over a number of years.

How has the building been maintained in the past?

Responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the building is shared under the conditions of the agreement between the City and the Roleystone Theatre Group. The City allocates funding for the maintenance of all of its buildings including the Roleystone Theatre and has undertaken maintenance works when required.

As is normal practice, once major community facility projects are identified, such as the potential redevelopment of the Roleystone Theatre, they are investigated; assessed and then considered for inclusion in to the City’s long term financial plan. This is the process that has been used for recent and current projects including redevelopments at Frye Park, the Greendale Centre, Aquatic Centre, Armadale District Hall, Seville Grove Library and the Champion Centre. This is the process that has now commenced for the Roleystone Theatre.

What is happening with the Roleystone Theatre Group following closure of the theatre?

The Roleystone Theatre Group has presented two productions since the closure of the theatre, one at Cecil Andrews College and one at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre. Since the closure of the theatre, the City has been working closely with the group to assist them to remain active in Armadale. Roleystone Hall has been identified as a temporary home where they can rehearse, store equipment and build sets etc with some modifications to be made to the hall to make it more suited to theatrical performances. The group has not yet finalised its future productions, although they will most likely present seasons at a number of venues including the redeveloped Armadale District Hall, at outdoors venues as well as at Roleystone Hall.

What happens next?

Council considered a report on the Roleystone Theatre on 17 December 2018. At that meeting Council made the following decisions;

1.       Commit to the reopening of the Roleystone Theatre for occupation and use;

2.       Proceed with finalising a design that reflects the current scale, noting:

a)      The main hall is to be repaired; and

b)      Flytower to be restored or replaced; and

c)       Other areas of the building to be rebuilt to similar sizes at current standards;

3.       Consider and seek funding sources in preparation for consideration as part of the 2019/20 budget;

4.       Consider user arrangements that support the Roleystone Theatre Group as a primary tenant but considers opportunities for others.

5.       Commission a heritage assessment and impact statement.

6.       Commit to the use of Roleystone Hall by the RTG until such time that the Roleystone Theatre is reopened.

The full Council report can be sourced via the following link;

https://www.armadale.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/assets/documents/council/minutes_-_community_services_committee_-_4_december_2018.pdf

Accordingly, work will commence in early 2019 to finalise a design while taking into account the points raised in the Council decision. Community input will be sought as part of the process.